As humans, we’re designed to be touched. When we form a bond with someone, touch is an integral part of that, because when we touch, we don’t just connect on a physical level; we connect on an emotional and psychological level too.
There’s plenty of research out there about the magical power of touch and how it has a myriad of benefits. These are some of the documented benefits of the healing power of touch, and how it can have a positive effect on your relationship.
Enables You to Create A Bond
It’s true; sometimes words just aren’t enough. Touch can elicit a response that words just can’t.
David Klow, a marriage and family therapist, states, “Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to say to your partner, ‘I get you.’ Cuddling is a way of saying, ‘I know how you feel.’ It allows us to feel known by your partner in ways that words can’t convey.”
Daniel Keltner, founder of the Greater Good Science Center and professor of psychology at The University of California, Berkeley states, “Studies show that touch signals safety and trust, it soothes. It activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is intimately involved with our compassion response, and a simple touch can trigger the release of oxytocin, aka “the love hormone.“
Once the nerve endings in our skin are stimulated, the reward centre of the brain responds with its feel-good chemistry. That’s why couples who are falling in love, cannot seem to keep their hands off each other. They’re high on oxytocin!
Improves Chance Of Further Touch
Usually, when you’re on a date, at some point the other person will demonstrate with their body language that they’re into you. The most significant way of doing this is by touching you. It not only signals that they’re interested in you, it also says that it’s okay for you to touch them. Green lights all-round!
Touch is the best way to let someone know you’re keen, especially men. They don’t get subtle hints as much as women do. That’s why it takes some guys a while before they’ll make the first move on a girl. They want a definite signal that it’s okay to go in for the kiss.
As noted by Ray Williams, in Psychology Today, “Interpersonal touch has a powerful impact on our emotions. Studies have shown that a gentle brush of a woman’s arm can boost a man’s chances in love.”
Enables You To Build Trust
Touch enables us to deepen our connection with our partner. When we develop a deeper bond, we’re able to feel safe and trust that person; which will inevitably lead to more touch. It’s a feel-good self-fulfilling prophecy.
As we know, trust is a crucial part of a successful relationship; without it, there is no relationship. So keep on feeling your way through your relationship, to help build that trust.
It’s also interesting to note that when someone has cheated in a relationship, they tend to stop touching and having sex with their partner. This is a subconscious signal that the trust is broken.
Enables A Better Team Dynamic
When you’re in a relationship you’re a team – one team, one dream. In order to get that team to the finals, i.e. the altar, you’ve got to maintain a strong connection, help each other along the way, and stay focused.
Interestingly, Psychology Today noted that “NBA teams whose players touch each other more, win more games.” It makes sense, it helps them form a strong bond with one another and a sense they’re all connected.
Watch your team on the weekend and see how many times they touch each after a winning piece of play, it will surprise you how many times they touch one another.
Touch is important in all aspects of life; in relationships, sport and in the workplace. Now, before you get all grabby with your co-workers, there’s good touching and then there’s inappropriate touching.
Touch is a very powerful persuasive tool in business. It can be used to develop teamwork – like using the pat on the back for doing a good job, or the entire team applause to show appreciation for hard work, and the team-building exercise of falling back into your co-workers arms; which is usually reserved for offsite team-building retreats.
Touch is also used to close deals, with the use of a handshake – which is a sign of appreciation and acknowledgement that the deal has taken place. It’s an internationally recognised ritual in business and an everyday formality in our touch-centric society.
In relationships, there’s handholding, hugging, kissing and putting your arms around each other. These are all ways in which we bond and essentially build our own little team.
Enables Increased Wellbeing
In order for humans to thrive, we need to be touched. It increases our mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as our physical wellbeing. And when you’re in a good state of wellbeing, you’re more likely to attract people who are on the same frequency as you. It’s the Law Of Attraction.
Keltner discovered, “In recent years, a wave of studies has documented some incredible emotional and physical health benefits that come from touch. This research is suggesting that touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.“
Physical touch is fundamental to human connection and relationships, especially in this day and age. Never before have we needed physical touch so much, than after the introduction of social media. (Or anti-social media)
Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist has a saying, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
Hmmm, I wonder if the divorce rate would go down if that were put into a prenup, instead of the division of assets?
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